My skin cracked as the dreary cold substance climbed up the surface of my arm, it dug down to my veins as it spread from my left hand to the remainder of my body. It searched for my warm heart in its journey to silence any sign of true life within me, it weaved and snaked through my veins to my brain, dulling my senses and preventing me from seeing the light of day. As my chest cracked and fell to the freezing poison I awoke from a deep sleep and the dream that haunted it. For the last 7 months these nightmares plagued my unconscious mind with delusions and dangers that were barely reachable in a conscious reality, let alone a realistic stressor. And yet here I was, sweating gallons, awake at 3 am, basked in the pale moonlight that covered me and my fiancé each night in the tall mountains we chose to live.
I pulled myself out of bed and walked over to the standing shower for the best part of what had become a nearly religious occurrence, I shut the door behind me and turned on the bathroom scone lights that hung sturdy above our mirror. I stared at myself in the mirror, inspecting myself for the slightest clue that the spine chilling dream had followed me out of my near comatose state. The only evidence left behind which after so much time had become part of my life was the deep red lines surrounding my pupils, each blood stream cascading along the surface letting me know my ocular companions hadn’t rested alongside the body they belonged to. I rifled through my fiancé Nyla”s drawers looking for her saline drops and began to get frustrated as they seemed to be completely gone. I searched the counter top and my eyes feel upon a light yellow sticky note stuck to a large unopened bottle of the relieving solution, I picked up the hefty container and read the note “I hope you won’t need this forever…but it seems to be a constant for now, so I got the biggest bottle they had, I love you Iliad” the note brought a smile to my face as I dripped the ichor like solution into my eyes and blinked the dryness away.
I Stowed the bottle in the drawer and placed the note on the counter before drifting into the shower and setting the water as warm as it would go. I let the comforting steam release me of my dream as I spent the next hour trying to recover from the constant horrors that hung over my head like an anvil. I was a soldier when I was young, not like any soldier alive today, I was a machine, a legitimate one, when I was only 12 years old I allowed a man who masqueraded as my father to replace each and every one of my mobile limbs with bionics. covered in a thing layer of jet back rubber they were grafted to my flesh using star like heat. What came next was year after year of new horrors, initially I was used to clear terrorist cells but when one monster enters the world, volleying parties must retaliate. by the time I was 16 I was far from the only beast walking the earth, each and every country had their own type of modern marvel to leer at. Canada created a bear, deer hybrid, it moved swiftly and killed efficiently, Mexico used their rather advanced occult storage to create various monsters that would cross the border and slaughter civilians like chupacabras.
Around the time things in Europe started to go haywire the United Nations announced it would be revoking access from any country who publicly owned a marvel, and using various peaceful individuals from all over the globe, they receded from public eye and stationed in the middle of the pacific. a beautiful flourishing city that almost no-one was given entry to, it had its own crops, its own citizens, eventually its own language, but with territory and resources like that, they soon found out they’d need their own beast.
The UN now ultimate nation dubbed themselves above biological and bionic warfare and instead stated they had found a beast that was entirely native to the planet itself to protect their waters, but they didn’t show anyone what they had recovered. Some people assumed they had figured out a way to weaponize larger sea mammals and had them patrolling alongside submarines, a rumor spread out of china that the UN had armored a large swarm of flying fish that would circle the city using sonic direction. When I was stationed with other soldiers they told me their rendition, a most likely story, that the UN had captured what lived beneath the Bermuda Triangle, and that it was right beneath the floating city.
It wasn’t long before the United States came to their senses and sent me out to investigate, soldiers around the world knew my name and knew the suit I would arrive places in, but in terms of going incognito my prosthetics weren’t visually very different then the average bionics that floated around and commonly accompanied civilians. Due to my lack of affiliation with any specific nation and some very cunning paperwork provided by the US state department, I was allowed entry into the city on a basis of scientific development, I would be providing assistance to a Dr.Keegan Levias, one of the UN’s resident bio-analysts. His job on the city was to analyze various species of plankton that they had begun using as a sort of wireless hamster wheel to power the city.
The day I was scheduled to leave my father insisted I accompany him for dinner with his wife, a young Czech women with bright blue hair. We sat down to eat at a small restaurant on the outskirts of the Florida keys, not more than 5 miles to the southernmost point. I remember sitting down with them in silence waiting for some type of response to what id started the dinner with. id started the dinner by telling my father I would not be coming back from the city, that id report back what I had found and that I would then either stay there or leave. Initially my father pulled out his phone to try and turn off my neural reception chips, and then I informed him that not only had I drained his mobile operations account of the 200,000 united nation credits that sat inside it, but that id also removed every console restriction in the net code of my prosthetics. when they took our entrees and delivered us a final round of drinks, coke for me of course, my father spoke up. you are free to do as you like, but without me your prosthesis will eventually grow outdated and you’ll fail at anything you do following that moment, and you’ll be alone. hearing this drove me mad and eventually I grew tired of the conversation, so I put the most on point period I could possibly put down last year a field officer told me about advanced genetics, things like recessive genes, genetic similarity, and most importantly he told me about gene matching, I read like I do and I know you’re not my father, I know where you came from, I know where I came from and I know that if you try to follow me, kidnap me, de emancipate me or ex communicate me from the services I currently use, I will bury you in the cayman prison you crawled out of.
my father walked away from the table leaving several American hundreds to cover the bill and a taxi service, I took a car to the deployment point and sat down with the on site briefing officer. okay your name is 42257? I looked down as he stated my designation yes sir, 42257 he laughed to himself for a second hey kid I hate designations and well be spending the next 6 months working side by side in this new environment and through comms, your arms and legs are the icarus model 4B sets, now I hate to be a nosy man but what can I say im a spy. Your dinner was monitored and we heard your whole spiel, so here’s what were doing.
The officer handed me a folder with several papers, in the stack was a large laminated sheet with some official looking stamps, a checklist for the equipment id been issued, a payment stub for 235,000 USD split between me and the guy I had dinner with and finally…a birth certificate, July 4th 2000 Manhattan general hospital, it probably wasn’t my real birthday but it worked. then at the bottom was a receipt for my implants that had been issues and updated since my birth, all issued from the Iliad corporation, and right at the top of the backside of the sheet…was a name, my name. Iliad vigor Iliad. weird they used the company’s name for my first and last name, but everyones gonna use my first name anyway.